Wow! Right? Maybe not: Here’s what we know: More than 6 million people have signed up for private coverage on insurance exchanges set up through Obamacare.
Here’s what we don’t know: pretty much anything else.
The 6 million doesn’t account for the low-income people who have enrolled in Medicaid or the people who couldn’t enroll in Medicaid because their states chose not to participate.
Finally, the administration has not said who these 6 million people are. Are they young or old? How many of them have paid their premiums? Will insurance companies have to dramatically raise premiums next year? These are key questions that will be needed to put the 6 million in its proper perspective and give Obamacare a full checkup.
This is either a remarkable turnaround or another example of failure, depending on who you talk to. That’s the politics of Obamacare.
As CNN's Christine Romans said this morning, the 6 million figure “exceeds lowered expectations.”
Unpack that phrase.
That expectation was lowered to 6 million after the epic failure of the insurance exchange rollout back in October. So hitting 6 million enrollments is amazing when you view it through the lens of October, when people who desperately wanted to enroll could not.
But it is a million short of the original expectation. From an insurance policy standpoint, it probably doesn’t even matter that much.
Obamacare is a national law, but it plays out at the local level. And it is on the local level that Obamacare will succeed or fail. Insurance exchanges are administered at the state level and insurance pools are divided into even smaller groupings. Many states administering their own exchanges are doing well. States - most of them red ones - that chose to rely on the federal government have far lower enrollment.
Christie won’t change: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans his first news conference in months. It comes the day after an internal review said he didn’t recall being told about those political payback bridge lane closings last September. But he already told ABC News the scandal won’t change his leadership style.
“I am who I am,” he told Diane Sawyer. “At core, I am a passionate, loving, caring, direct, truth teller. And for some people, they love it.”
Christie denies knowing, calls former staffers 'stupid': Christie says the toxic environment in his office that apparently led to the George Washington Bridge lane shutdowns is news to him and he did nothing to create it.
"I don’t think anyone would take that as an indication to do something so incredibly stupid," he told Sawyer.
"You asked if I contributed to a climate,” he said. “I don’t believe that I did."
He was shocked, he said, to learn of the lane closures.
"It defies credulity to me. Which is why when things were first reported, I said, 'This can't possibly be true.' Because who would do something like that? Sometimes, people do inexplicably stupid things," he said.
Lawyers appointed by Christie released their own internal review that found the governor did nothing wrong.
Christie probe gets personal with Bridget Kelly: That probe, by the way, is coming under some fire for the way it portrays Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, who joked with a Port Authority official about the lane closure.
She is described as “emotional” after the report implies an affair with Christie’s campaign manager went south.
Kate Zernike and David Chen write in The New York Times: “The report raises these details but does not explain how or why they would have prompted her to send the damning email. It simply concludes that “events in her personal life may have had some bearing on her subjective motivations and state of mind.”
Biden: The undocumented are already Americans: Democrats want to kickstart stalled efforts to enact immigration reform. The main sticking point is - as it has long been - whether the millions of undocumented in this country should be given a pathway to citizenship.
Vice President Joe Biden, in a way that only Joe Biden can, said citizenship is a state of mind as well as a legal term.
“You know, 11 million people that are living in the shadows. I believe they’re already Americans citizens,” Biden said. “These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to be able to contribute fully. And by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans in my view.”
Citing the contribution Hispanics have made to the American economy, Biden stressed the importance of passing immigration reform sooner rather than later, arguing, “It’s the single most significant thing we can do. It’s a game-changer financially for the country.”
Kentucky’s McConnell bedeviled by Duke flub: CNN’s Political Editor Paul Steinhauser reports that Sen. Mitch McConnell's conservative primary challenger is hoping to score some points off of a highly publicized mistake by the Senate Minority Leader's re-election team.
Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, hoping to boost his underdog challenge against McConnell in Kentucky's May Republican primary, is going up with a TV commercial today that pokes fun at Web video released earlier this week by the senator's campaign that included a clip of a team wearing blue uniforms celebrating a national championship in men's basketball.
The major problem was that the team wasn't the Kentucky Wildcats, but instead the Duke University Blue Devils. There's little love among Kentucky college basketball fans for the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference school from North Carolina.
Update: This post originally misidentified Medicaid as Medicare.